UNF Newcomers Shine in Season-Opening Walk-Off Win Against Murray State

JACKSONVILLE (SportsTicker). - After pre-game rain pushed the start time of the season opener back one hour, North Florida baseball made the wait count for those in attendance, defeating Murray State, 3-2, on Jakob Runnnels' walk-off pinch hit single in the bottom of the 10th Friday, Feb. 17.

Murray State (0-1) was rolling with a 2-0 lead behind a no-hit bid through six innings, but freshman shortstop Alex Lodise catalyzed UNF's late push with an opposite field solo home run in the seventh. Newcomer Gabriel Esquivel eventually tied things up, 2-2, with a two-out, two-strike single back up the box in the seventh. After three more shut down frames by the UNF bullpen, Cade Reich started the 10th off with a single and eventually scored on Runnels' frozen rope into the left field corner. Peter Holden spun a solid outing in his season debut, allowing just two earned in five innings. UNF newcomers accounted for all three RBI and four of UNF's seven hits. Lodise became the first true freshman to hit a home run in their UNF debut since Tyler Marincov did so Feb. 25, 2011 against Liberty.
North Florida has had the flair for the dramatic in season openers, playing to a one-run decision in four of the last six season openers. It was also UNF's second walk-off win in the season opener in four seasons.

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